A parade in paradise
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – New Castle Boy Scouts Kody Roper and Warren Smith were up early Saturday morning to get in line for the Strawberry Days parade.
Well, technically, they didn’t get much sleep the night before.
The new Harry Potter book, “Order of the Phoenix,” came out at midnight Friday. Hastings Bookstore in the Glenwood Springs Mall was one of many nationwide retail outlets that opened in the middle of the night to sell the book to eager readers, and the boys stayed up to be one of the first to get their copies.
“It’s so good you can’t put it down,” said Smith. “I stayed up and read all night.”
“I think I’ve been up for 48 hours straight,” said Roper. “But I’ll be OK as soon as I eat some cotton candy.”
Smith, 13, and Roper, 12, were dressed in their Boy Scout best and were first in line with the other Scouts from New Castle Troop 221, Rifle Troop 223, Glenwood’s Troop 225 and Denver Troop 749. They met at 8th and Grand at 8 a.m. to be ready to go at 10 a.m.
Parade grand marshals and local military personnel Navy Petty Officer Jennifer Marshall, Lance Cpl. Brian Chee and Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc Sigmon helped the Boy Scouts lead off the parade, which featured this year’s theme, “Strawberries in Paradise.”
Grass skirts, leis, palm trees, flamingoes, parrots and Jimmy Buffett music were everywhere.
High Noon Restaurant took the Grand Marshal award and first place in the commercial category for its float of giant dancing strawberries surrounded by a tropical setting.
Mason and Morse took second and Alpine Bank took third in the commercial float category.
In the nonprofit/service category, Cooper Avenue Social Center took first place float honors. Post Independent reporter Greg Masse and his Bottomfeeders band were a big hit as they played “Margaritaville,” next to a gigantic papier mache margarita, complete with salt around the rim.
Healing Partners of the Roaring Fork Valley took second place, and the Elks Lodge float took third.
Lots of variety
Besides the awards, there was lots of variety and fun to this year’s parade, such as the Garfield County Search and Rescue float, complete with a cadre of rescue dogs dressed in hula skirts, and an enormous semi truck driven by U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell.
The Grand Mesa Elite cheerleaders from Grand Junction entertained the crowds, as did The Property Shop’s Lawn Chair Drill Team, wowing the crowds with their tongue-in-cheek precision.
That’s why Jerry and Brenda Garner, dressed in Hawaiian shirts and standing along the parade route on Grand Avenue, came to see the parade. Jerry has lived in Glenwood Springs for 22 years. The Garners recently married, and this year’s Strawberry Days parade was Brenda’s first.
“We came to see it because it’s part of the community,” she said. “I’m from Colorado Springs, and it’s great to come to a parade where there aren’t crushing crowds. There’s room here for everybody to see everything.”
Harry and Hilda Nadolskis took a seat on a bench under a shade tree near 9th and Grand. The couple, who moved to Glenwood Springs 12 years ago from Chicago, are originally from Europe – Harry from Latvia and Hilda from Germany. They said they walked over to the parade route from their home in downtown Glenwood to see what the fuss was about.
“We usually go out of town during Strawberry Days, but not this year,” said Harry with a smile.
Glenwood Springs City Council member Rick Davis and his wife, Cindy, also walked over from their house to have a look at the parade. They came fully equipped with foldable camp chairs which they planted on the sidewalk.
“We always come see the parade,” said Cindy Davis.
The Western Colorado Shriners made a huge impact as they always do. Taking up nearly three full city blocks, the group drove little model cars, tiny Corvettes and Honda Goldwing motorcycles in precision.
Fortunately for the horses and riders in the parade, the Shriners’ little cars stayed far away from them, thereby avoiding a potential nervous horse outbreak. The horses came toward the rear of the parade, including the Meeker Women’s Drill Team and Range Call royalty, with famed pooper scooper Hank Pendley cleaning up behind them.
Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518
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